Cagayan River

Amulung, Cagayan

The Cagayan River, also known as the Rio Grande de Cagayan, is the longest and largest river in the Philippine Archipelago. The river traverses four provinces: Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan. These provinces have an approximate population of two million people, mostly farmers and indigenous tribesmen.

The Ibanag people derive their tribe's name from Cagayan River's anci ...

ent name, Bannag. The Gaddang tribe lived in the upper riches of the Cagayan River and its tributaries.

There are dams in two of the river's tributaries, the Magat and Chico Rivers, and there are also several mining concessions in the mineral-rich Cordillera Mountains near the headwaters of the two tributary rivers.

The river's headwaters are at the Caraballo Mountains of the Central Luzon at an elevation of approximately 1,524 meters. The river flows north for some 505 kilometers to its mouth at the Babuyan Channel near the town of Aparri, Cagayan. The river drops rapidly to 91 meters above sea level some 227 kilometers from the river mouth. Its principal tributaries are the Chico, Siffu, Mallig, Magat and Ilagan Rivers.

Magat River is the largest tributary with an estimated annual discharge of 9,808 million cubic meters. It lies in the southwestern portion of the basin, stretching approximately 150 kilometers from Nueva Vizcaya down to its confluence with Cagayan River about 55 kilometers from the river mouth. Both Magat and Chico Rivers have extensive drainage areas which comprise about 1/3 of the whole basin.

The Ilagan River originates from the western slopes of the Sierra Madre and drains the eastern central portion of the Cagayan River basin with an estimated yearly discharge of 9,455 million cubic meters. It flows westward and joins the Cagayan River at Ilagan, Isabela, 200 kilometers from the mouth.

The Siffu-Mallig system lies on the slope of the Central Cordillera ranges flowing almost parallel to the Magat River. Marshes and swamps are found in some parts of its lower reaches.

Cagayan River and its tributaries have deposited sediments of Tertiary and Quaternary origin, mostly limestone sands and clays, throughout the relatively flat Cagayan Valley which is surrounded by the Cordillera Mountains in the west, Sierra Madre in the east and the Caraballo Mountains in the south.

The Cagayan River passes through one of the few remaining primary forests in the Philippines. It supports the lives of numerous endemic and endangered species, like the Luzon bleeding-heart pigeon (Gallicolumba luzonica), Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and a rare riverine fish, locally called ludong (Cestreaus plicatilis).

The ludong spawns in Cagayan River's upper reaches in Jones, Isabela. In late October until mid-November, the fish travel down the river to release their eggs at the river mouth near Appari. In February, ludong fry by the millions are again caught in fine nets as these travel upstream.

Due to the dwindling number of ludong caught yearly, local governments have imposed a ban on catching the fish and its fry, but the ban has failed.

Cagayan River News

  • P26M Sought For Ludong Conservation In Cagayan

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is seeking P26 million to fund a conservation program for "ludong," a rare fish that thrives in the headwaters of the Cagayan River and river systems in the Ilocos region.

    Known as the countrys most expensive fish, ludong is being sold for P6,000 a kilogram.

    The program will require a resource and socioeconomic profile of the ludong environment and an assessment of the fishing technologies used by fishing communities, according to Dr. Evelyn Ame, BFAR national focal person on ludong.

    This will enable the BFAR to improve livelihood o ...

  • Rehab Plan For Cordillera River Basins Endorsed To DENR

    Rehab Plan For Cordillera River Basins Endorsed To DENR

    Three major river basins in the highland Cordillera region may come back to life through a proposed rehabilitation plan.

    The Regional Development Council and the Regional Peace and Order Council have forwarded the climate responsive integrated master plan for the Agno River basin, the Cagayan River basin and the Abra River basin to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

    The Cagayan River basin is one of the largest river systems in the country while the Agno River basin is the fifth largest. The Abra River, meanwhile, is one of the five major rivers in the country.

    All three trace their he ...

  • BFAR Bans Fishing Of Ludong

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Cagayan Valley region has begun implementing the ban on the catching of the "ludong" fish to allow it to multiply.

    BFAR Administrative Circular No. 247 declares a closed season on the catching of the high-value fish.

    The closed season, a period during which the taking of specified fishery species is prohibited in a specified area in Philippine waters, has been set from Oct. to Nov. 15 each year.

    Covered by the ban is the entire stretch of the Cagayan River, including its tributaries, headwaters, and watersheds along with the ...

  • Cimatu Orders To Keep Cagayan River Clean

    Underscoring the importance of protecting the Cagayan River, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu urged field officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protect it against indiscriminate dumping of waste and other pollutants.

    Cimatu visited the DENRs office in Tuguegarao City over the weekend and noticed the vast tracks of farmlands planted with rice and corn on his way from the Tuguegarao airport to the field offices of the DENR.

    The Cagayan River is the main source of irrigation water of the valley. Let us protect the river from litters and other pollutan ...

  • BFAR Releases 100 000 Elvers In Cagayan River

    BFAR Releases 100 000 Elvers In Cagayan River

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently seeded the Cagayan River and its tributaries with at least 100,000 elvers to increase the dwindling population of eels in the region.

    Aaron Mayor, BFAR Focal Person for Stock Enhancement of Elvers program, said they continuously seeded the Cagayan River and communal water bodies with stocks like elvers and tilapia fingerlings to save their depleted population due to overfishing.

    This year, he said the bureau identified the towns of Gattaran and Baggao in Cagayan; San Mariano, Angadanan, San Guillermo, and San Pablo i ...

  • DPWH Works On Cagayan Tagoloan And Imus Rivers To Prevent Flooding

    DPWH Works On Cagayan Tagoloan And Imus Rivers To Prevent Flooding

    The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started flood control work on "critical portions" of 3 major rivers across the country.

    The P356-million worth flood-risk management project involves "full-scale improvement works" on:

    • Cagayan River in Tuguegarao City
    • Tagoloan River in Misamis Oriental
    • Imus River in Cavite

    These priority areas were identified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in two studies, DPWH project office director Patrick Gatan said in a statement on Monday, July 11.

    Here are the specific works that the government engineers will ...